Sep 13
Welcome Back

September, 2021

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome folks to the 2021 – 2022 school year. It goes without saying that the last number of months have dramatically impacted families and communities. Circumstances in regard to Covid measures and community health have changed the way students have experienced school. I want to reassure our students, families and community that Alternative High School and the Calgary Board of Education have kept the safety, health and development of our students at the forefront of programming throughout these past months. This focus is reflective of the commitment the Calgary Board of Education, Each Student, Every Day, No Exceptions.  It is a privilege as educators to have the faith, trust and relationships with students and their families that facilitate the growth and learning that occurs for our youth on their path of self-sufficiency, family health and community contribution. At Alternative High School, our collective efforts will result in supporting individuals in our learning community to be active citizens of great character.  

Alternative High School is committed to offering an environment and a program of studies that is intellectual, rigorous and engages students in ways that promote success. Alternative High School uses the Circle of Courage and the concepts of Generosity, Independence, Mastery and Belonging supporting the creation of an environment of inclusion where all have a role in their own growth, the growth of others and their contributions to their families and the community. This education program is based on the individual strengths and goals of the student. Through this personalization students will receive a program that recognizes who they are in the context of the world in which they live. Staff at Alternative High School bring a wealth of professional knowledge and are committed to working very hard to create a school environment that supports and celebrates each student.  As we know, school staff alone cannot guarantee the success of students. We require students to attend daily, on time, to follow through on their agreements with teachers and try their best every day. Parents/Guardians that make time for their student to discuss their student’s experience in critical ways while maintaining respectful, ongoing, and open communication with school staff can be of tremendous support when planning and nurturing student success. 

Parent/Guardian involvement on School Council/Parent Association is very much appreciated. School Council/Parent Association meetings are scheduled quarterly throughout the year. Please check the website for these dates. Your attendance, energy and enthusiasm are all that we need, however the contributions of this group have a significant impact on the programming that is offered at Alternative High School. Due to the current health measures our first School Council/Parent Association meeting is to be held on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm. This will be held electronically through the TEAMS MEET platform. The link for the meeting will be posted on the school website. 

I look forward to the year ahead and encourage your participation and communication as we endeavour to support our students in their success at Alternative High School. As my leadership portfolio in the Calgary Board of Education contains many educational sites beyond Alternative High School, future monthly messages on the website will be delivered by the Alternative High School Assistant Principal, Rhonda Williams.  

Dr. Don Barbor  
Alternative High School  
Jun 11
Year End Reflection

It is hard to believe that we are almost done the 2020-2021 school year! Phew, we made it!

As I reflect on this past year, I would be remiss if I did not thank students and families for their ongoing support of Alternative High School. As in previous years, School Council has made a huge difference in the learning opportunities offered to our students. My sincerest hope it that we can return to in-school and off-campus opportunities that enrich student learning and play an important role in the culture of our school.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to address the difficult times we are currently facing around the world. The pandemic has been especially challenging for many of our staff and students, but the world has also been altered by acts of racism and intolerance that have rocked us to our core. At Alternative High, we need all of our students and families to know that we stand in solidarity against all forms of racism, discrimination, intolerance and oppression. Schools have an important role in teaching tolerance, acceptance and understanding. AHS is committed to ensuring we provide opportunities for all students to achieve their goals and reach their highest potential. I truly believe we can work together to make a positive difference and make this world a better place!

​As we prepare for the 2021-22 school year, Alternative High School is saying goodbye to some of our staff and graduating students. At the moment, we are saying goodbye to Eric as he pursues retirement and Amber as she transitions to Discovering Choices. Next year, Dr. Don will be back in his captain's chair along with Rhonda Williams who brings a wealth of experience as an assistant principal. We are so proud of our graduates – their resiliency and perseverance make us hopeful for the next stage in their journey. Congrats grads – you did it!

Please expect the year to start with many of the same COVID-19 protocols in place. Closer to the first day of school, CBE and the school will communicate more information about what these protocols will be.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know the Alternative High School community and I leave here a better leader and teacher. Thank you for your patience, support and opportunity to get to know the school community. On behalf of the staff at Alti, I would also like to wish students and families a wonderful and relaxing summer. We look forward to our return to school on September 1, 2021.

Warm regards,


Gayleena Clark (she/her)
Acting Principal, Alternative High School 
Calgary Board of Education|

T| 403-777-7730

Apr 20

Hello Students and Families of Alternative High School.

First off, let me say how excited and honored I am to be joining the Alti team. I have been a teacher since 2000 in a number of different schools and grade configurations. Most recently, I have been the Assistant Principal at Joane Cardinal-Schubert and Robert Thirsk High School.  My primary focus as an educator is to ensure students have a safe and caring environment to learn and grow in. Perhaps needless to say, I think I have found the right spot to land.  Alti is a great school with many awesome people who make it an ideal environment to work in.

A few housekeeping items:

  • Alti continues to follow the regular student timetable as we transition into online learning. I am happy to report that student attendance and engagement has been positive. Keep up the great work!
  • If students have concerns or difficulty during the shift to online learning, please have them connect with their mentor teacher.
  • Parents/guardians of grade 10 students will be receiving a survey package from Alberta Education that consists of a letter from the Education Minister, instructions for the survey, and a Random Access Code (RAC) to access the survey online. The deadline for survey completion is April 23, 2021
  • More information regarding summer school through Chinook Learning and CBe-learn will be available soon. A message will be sent home when we receive the information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at the school.

Warm regards,


Gayleena Clark (she/her)
Acting Principal, Alternative High School 
Calgary Board of Education|

T| 403-777-7730​ E|

Nov 27
The Best of Health and Fortune for 2021

Hello Alternative High School Families,

On behalf of the staff of Alternative High School we want to extend our hope that your family is healthy and able to isolate at this time. We appreciate the thoughtfulness and patience you have shown as we provide programming that supports the safety, health and growth of students during the time we are all dealing with the Covid Pandemic. Although things have certainly looked different, Alternative High School and the Calgary Board of Education have remained focused on ensuring quality learning opportunities have continued for students. Alternative High School’s approach to supporting students aligns with the expectations set out by the Calgary Board of Education as mandated by the Province of Alberta.

This period of students accessing school programming from home will be interrupted by the winter vacation and the holiday season. I hope that your family will be able to spend some time together and appreciate the value of your relationships with each other. I wish for all members of the Alternative High School Community the best of health and fortune as we turn the corner to 2021.

I am aware that this situation has been a new experience for all of us. It is our priority to support our students in any way that we can. Please maintain clear, consistent communication with your student, their mentor and teachers. It is a pleasure to be the Principal of Alternative High School, as such please do not hesitate to connect with me should you have questions or comments. I feel fully confident the relationships established within the community of Alternative High School are strong enough that we will all get through this together. Living within the Circle of Courage; trying our very best given the skills and support available (Mastery), recognize we have the capacity to make choices that are good for us in the context of our obligations to others (Independence), use our compassion and empathy to support others (Belonging) and have the courage to ask for the help of those close to us and our community (Generosity) will be significant in keeping each person safe, healthy and our community strong.


Dr. Donald Barbor
Principal, Alternative High School

Mar 12
The School Year is Quickly Passing

The school year is quickly passing. As we move into March we should start seeing the first signs of spring. The end of March marks the mid-point of the second semester. Teachers will report to parents/guardians on achievement to this point through our Interim Reports. Please review these documents with the students you support. Re-enforce efforts and achievement that indicate success, challenge and plan for areas that success seems more difficult to come by.

One sure sign of spring is the annual school break. It is important that students come back from break caught up in their courses and feeling confident as they move closer to the end of semester. Often second semester goes far too quickly for some students, and they find them-selves out of time or not having enough time for course completion and exam preparation.

I appreciate meeting and having conversations with the families of students that attend Alternative. A group of caring people supporting our young people is a great recipe for success. A special acknowl-edgement to our Parent Association and School Council Members for their tremendous support. Their efforts make for a far richer school experience for our students. These groups can certainly use more support. The commitment is not significant but the value to students invaluable. Please see the newsletter and/or website for the next As-sociation and Council meeting and contribute to the experiences of your student through your participation. Very soon you will get a noti-fication of the upcoming Casino that raises funds to support programming at Alternative High School. Individuals over the age of 18 are eligible to volunteer in support of the casino fund raiser.

As always it is a pleasure to be the Principal of Alternative High School. Please do not hesitate to connect with me with questions or comments.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School

Feb 10
Semester 2

Semester Two marks the mid-point of the school year. It is important as a student to reflect upon the learning and growth of semester one and look at what went well and things that could be different as we endeavor to support our best personal effort each day. I was impressed with the dedication and diligence of many students in completing their first semester courses. Often we start with good intentions to remain current with our studies but over time find ourselves falling behind. I would encourage students to develop the habits of mind and behavior that allows them to attend school consistently and prioritize the complexities of life in a manner that gives school sufficient focus so that students are achieving their personal best.

I want to thank the members of our Parent Association and School Council. The work that is done by this group certainly makes a significant difference in the experiences we are able to offer students. This group is always looking for members to full specific duties as well as members at large. Please if you can find an hour of your time once a month to attend these meetings your efforts will be well greatly appreciated and will be reflected in valuable experiences being provided for students. The next meeting is Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm.

I am looking forward to our continued work together on behalf of our students. I appreciate the support our community continues to provide for the staff of Alternative High School. Should you have comments or questions please do not hesitate to connect with the school.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

Jan 06
The Beginning of a New Year

January marks the beginning of a new year for us all. For a student in high school it is significant as well. Semester One classes are coming to an end and exams are imminent. Please support your student in completing the semester with enthusiasm, confidence and suffi-cient effort to do their very best. Organization of material, project completion, review and rest are all important aspects of an academic life of a student. Please support the student you are connected with to use their time wisely, consider their priorities and stay healthy in what is often a stressful time in their lives.

Please visit our Exam Schedule page. Within the schedule you will be aware of student tutorial opportunities. If the student you are connected to has a passing grade that reflects a comprehen-sive understanding of the course and their ability to demonstrate this understanding then we would encourage students to attend these tu-torial opportunities for continued support. If the student you are con-nected to is not meeting the requirements of the course then these tutorial times are mandatory.

Teachers will inform students of their requirement to be in attendance on these tutorial times. A student not fulfilling their obligation to attend tutorial times and maintain their studies can impact further programming for that student at Alternative High School.

It is my hope this new year brings you and your family the best of fortunes and good health. I appreciate the continued support the community demonstrates for the staff and programming at Alternative High School. Should you have comments or questions please do not hesitate to connect with the school.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

Dec 09
Winter Break Arriving Shortlyl

December has come and with it the cold temperatures of an Alberta winter. With the winter break arriving shortly and a new year to follow, December tends to be a month of reflection and anticipation. Success in school for students is supported by a similar cycle of understanding where we are currently and using this understanding to plan next steps. Although there are a limited number of class days remaining in the first semester, it is important that students remain diligent in their studies. Completing work, organizing and preparing for semester exams are all very helpful for promoting the very best outcomes. If students can find sometime over break for these activities, they will find the deadlines of semester end much less stressful. A reminder to students and families that the exam timetable attached to this newsletter has significant tutorial time. These tutorial sessions are mandatory for students that have not completed all work to the best of their ability as evaluated by the student and teacher. Students and families will know if a young person does not need to attend these days as the students mentor will con-nect with you and indicate this. Without this contact, all students should be attending these tutorial days.

Contained in this newsletter is the date of our next Parent Association/ School Council Meeting. We have a very active group of parents on the as-sociation/council. They are looking for your input as to how we can continue to support the school community of Alternative High. Please consider attending our next Parent Association/School Council Meeting. The Parent Association/School Council plans to send a form home with your student in the near future. This form will allow them to connect with the parent group directly to share information.

I hope that families are able to have some relaxing time together over the holidays. My wish for students is to have fun during their time away from school and that their choices always reflect the importance of their own safety and the safety of others. We have a few events in December that will have students and their families coming into the school. I hope to see many of you at these events. If by chance I do not, I wanted to extend my appreci-ation for your support of our school program, and wish you and your family the best of fortune into the New Year.

Dr. Don Barbor

Nov 01
November 2019

​Principal’s Message

The month of November marks the quarter point in our school year. At this time the school year is well underway, students are settling in to their course work and staff know their students and are programming specifically for the students they support. Students need to hold themselves accounta-ble to their best efforts every day. When we expect great things for our-selves we tend to put in the efforts necessary to accomplish these high ex-pectations. Students and their supports will see evidence of student en-gagement and effort in school through the Report Cards and the Confer-ences that are held on November 21. Please spend time with your student celebrating successes and making a plan for the next steps in learning.

As we reflect on the Circle of Courage belonging plays a significant role in how students are able to perform and succeed at school. A significant as-pect of belonging is us being present in the community of which we speak. Currently we have a large number of students that are not attending school consistently. It is impossible to teach if a student is not present to learn, Mastery. It is impossible to include if a student is not in attendance, Belonging. It is impossible to understand self in the context of our community if we are not present in our community, Independence. It is im-possible to interact with others in caring and kind ways if we do not make ourselves available, Generosity. We want to support students in their growth and achievement, we need them to attend in order to be this sup-port. Remember all absences must be communicated to the school by a legal guardian.

I wanted to extend a thank you to the past leadership of both the Parent As-sociation and the School Council. Your efforts on behalf of students, fami-lies, staff and the community of Alternative High School are highly valued and appreciated. As a result of folks moving on from these positions I want to extend my thanks for those that have stepped up to take on leadership roles. I look forward to working with you this year. We always welcome members at large so please come to our meeting on November 20, 2019.

Thank you once again for working with the school on behalf of the student you are supporting. Please do not hesitate to connect with me at the school should you have a comment or question.


Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

Sep 27
October 2019

September can be a time of transition for students, new schools, new teachers, a different group of friends, among other complexities individual to each of us as we navigate our lives. The patience and support that folks have afforded each other during this time is a true example of us living, through our actions, the Circle of Courage particularly in the Spirits of Generosity and Belonging. It is of great value that opportunities presented throughout our lives offer us continued growth and build on our previous knowledge. It is the welcoming of these opportunities in our lives, as opposed to shying away from these opportunities, that we develop our self-confidence.  In the spirits of Mastery and Independence, this is an aspect of school that we all should embrace as we strive to develop our capacities as lifelong learners. 

There will be plenty of opportunity for students to explore the Circle of Courage Spirits; Generosity, Belonging, Independence & Mastery throughout programming at Alternative High School. It is important for students and families to remember that there is a direct relationship between student success and school attendance, if students are not at school it becomes difficult to support them with their learning. Our school celebration day at Cobb’s Corn Maze was fantastic. Students and staff were able to reconnect with each other and welcome new students to Alternative High School. These days are so important in developing and maintaining the safe, supportive caring community of Alternative High School.

It was nice to see so many families attend “Meet the Teacher Night”. As indicated Parent/Guardian involvement on School Council/Parent Association is very much appreciated.  I sincerely appreciate parents/guardians that came to our introductory meeting and have expressed an interest in supporting the school through their participation on School Council/Parent Association.  School Council/Parent Association meetings are posted on our school website.  

As we now move forward into the school year there is much to look forward to and much work to be done. I look forward to our continued work together. Please do not hesitate to connect with me at the school at any time.

Dr. Don Barbor
Alternative High School/AARC

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On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the CBE’s Well-Being team will host its next free webinar with the AHS Sexual & Reproductive Health Team on the topic of Healthy Sexual Development. Sign up today to join the virtual session from 6:30-8:00 pm #WeAreCBE

RT @BishopPinkham: Acknowledging Black History Month for February. Many more lessons and stories will be integrated into core and complementary classes. #WeAreCBE #BlackHistoryMonth

RT @MSBhullarCBE: WHoooo created these amazing sketches and poems? Gr6 students Sai, Ayana and Priya wowed us with their skills and creativity. #WeareCBE #NicetoManmeetYou

In February we celebrate Black History Month! It’s an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the contributions of Black Canadians in communities across the country. Activities and lessons are planned in CBE schools throughout the month. #WeAreCBE

There are no classes for CBE students on Friday, Feb. 3, because it’s a system-wide non-instructional day. Have a great long weekend! #WeAreCBE